Celebrating Indian traditions voxtrot
In a few weeks, India will witness an extraordinary three-day celebration of dance and theatre. From April 30 to May 2, the capital of our country will have dancers from all over the world come together to see charisma explode at the Kamani Auditorium. These three days will see one of India’s most sought after Indian classical dance institutes, the Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD), celebrate 40 glorious years.
The CICD is among the earliest cultural institutions established in Delhi by Dr Sonal Mansingh. At the centre, Indian traditions and values are being instilled since 1977 through teaching and training in Indian dance, particularly Bharatanatyam and Odissi. Students at CICD learn not just classical dances but also music, yoga, the Sanskrit language and more importantly, the intrinsic values of India’s cultural heritage. The calendar of events of 40 years illustrates the scope and variety of the centre’s activities including cultural festivals, seminars, workshops and a staggering range of choreographies. The teaching methodology is based on the timehonoured tradition of guru-shishya parampara, all of it spearheaded by Dr Mansingh, who I also call as my dancing mother.
I know you all already know a lot about Dr Mansingh but today I would like to say a few words about my dancing mother. She is an iconic cultural personality, an acknowledged master of cultural interpretations and an exemplary teacher. Having trained in classical dance styles of Bharatanatyam, Odissi and in classical music traditions of North India, South India and also in traditional music of Odisha, she has carried the message of Indian culture to 90 countries so far. She is the recipient of high civilian honours Padma Vibhushan in 2003, Padma Bhushan in 1992 and many others honours. She is also one of the “Navratanas” nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Swacch Bharat mission.
I can go on and on about her, about who Dr Mansingh is as a person and what all she teaches everyone, every human being she touches with her Midas touch. But now let me tell you about her Kala Yatra.
Kala Yatra is a three-day long celebration of Indian art traditions. The opening ceremony is planned in a grand manner with the blessing of Shri Kamakhya Kalapeeth on April 30, 2017. The day will see the release of the book Sonal Mansingh — A Life like None Other authored by Sujata Prasad. The book, like the name suggests, is about the life of one of the most precious dancers of our nation. After the book release there will be a unique presentation of “Shiva–Mahatmay” — a dance production on episodes from ShivaPurana. I asked Dr Mansingh how she feels about CICD completing 40 splendid years. It has been, an emotionally charged Dr Mansingh said, “completely fulfilling and glorious. It is fulfilling because the beat and the melody of disciplined yet creative energies have never ceased to reverberate in this noble space. I call it glorious because innumerable boys and girls, young and older men and women have imbibed the essential values, disciplines and beauty in their lives through the uncompromising training given here. They are now engaged in performing, teaching and spreading the message wherever they go.” Today, I am writing this article to congratulate all the students of CICD and to wish my dancing mother Dr Mansingh many more glorious years as a dancer, performer, guru, choreographer, social activist, researcher, mentor, guide, motivational speaker and more. So that she can spread her aura of knowledge even more and make us learn lessons of a lifetime. Sandip Soparrkar is a well known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with National Achievement and National Excellence Award by the Govt of India. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
A three-day celebration of Indian art traditions, Yatra festival, will begin with Shri Kamakhya Kalapeeth’s blessings on April 30, 2017. Kala